BAE Systems has been awarded a contract to develop and manufacture the Actuator Control Unit (ACU) for the Boeing KC-46A tanker. The contract is for the design, development, test, and production of the ACU for the Boom Actuation Control System of the KC-46A tanker.
KC-46A Tanker during refueling. (Photo: Boeing)
The ACU provides the control interfaces necessary for movement of the aerial refueling boom. Boom commands processed by the ACU to control the boom actuators are initiated by an aerial refueling operator using a boom flight control stick.
“With this award, BAE Systems’ role in the KC-46A tanker contract has expanded, reflecting the teamwork, dedication and innovation we bring to our partnership with the Boeing Company,” said Jim Garceau, deputy general manager of BAE Systems Communications and Control Solutions.
Boeing also selected BAE Systems to provide its Interior Control Panel for the KC-46A in 2011. The panel leverages touch-screen technology and a user-friendly interface that allows an aircrew to efficiently control a variety of interior functions such as lighting, potable water, and waste tanks on the new aerial refueling and strategic transport aircraft.
The KC-46 tanker program will modify a Boeing 767 to produce a civil and military-certified convertible aircraft capable of tanker, troop transport, and cargo missions. The tanker will have the capability to operate day and night, in all weather conditions, under modern domestic and international regulations for civil airspace. This modification will retain the Federal Aviation Administration certified flight, navigation, and communication capabilities of the basic commercial airplane, and include provisions and/or installations for military communication, identification, and navigation equipment. First flight of the tanker is expected in 2014.
BAE Systems was the recipient of Boeing’s Supplier of the Year Award for 2012, reflecting continuous excellence in quality, on-time delivery, post-delivery support, cost and ability to anticipate and respond to changing customer requirements. Engineering and development work on the program will be conducted in Endicott, NY with manufacturing at the BAE Systems facility in Ft. Wayne, Ind.
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